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Political Cartoons and the End of Slavery

Guiding Question: 

What do Civil War era political cartoons reveal about views of the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery? 



Handout A: “Lincoln’s Last Warning” (1862) 

Handout B: “King Abraham Before and After Issuing the Emancipation Proclamation” (1862) 

Handout C: “Emancipation” (1865) 

Handout D: Political Cartoons and the End of Slavery Graphic Organizer 

Handout E: Political Cartoons and the End of Slavery Answer Key 


Have students fill out the graphic organizer and answer the analysis questions while looking at the three political cartoons. 

Analysis Questions: 

  1. How do these cartoons reflect different views on the institution of slavery?
  2. The “King Abraham” cartoon shows Lincoln as deceptive. Explain why given your understanding of how Lincoln’s initial 1861 proclamation about the war being simply a fight to end a rebellion differs from the later Emancipation Proclamation which put slavery as a major reason for the war.
  3. What makes the last cartoon unique compared to the other two? 

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